1932 Teikoku Zaigō Gunjinkai Map of Shanghai, Second Sino-Japanese War

時局上海市街要圖 / [Current Situation Streetmap of Shanghai]. - Main View

1932 Teikoku Zaigō Gunjinkai Map of Shanghai, Second Sino-Japanese War


Reporting the war to Japan's home front.


時局上海市街要圖 / [Current Situation Streetmap of Shanghai].
  1932 (undated)     16.75 x 30 in (42.545 x 76.2 cm)     1 : 20000


This 1932 Teikoku Zaigō Gunjinkai map of Shanghai documents the 1932 Shanghai Incident (also known as the January 28 Incident), a brief war fought in the city between Japanese and Chinese forces. Although focusing on military forces, it also is a highly detailed street map or plan of Shanghai at the time, prepared with a Japanese audience in mind.
A Closer Look
The foreign concessions of Shanghai (shaded red and blue) are subdivided into five sections. Formally, there were only two foreign concessions: the French Concession (佛租界) and the International Settlement (共同租借), historically dominated by the British and, to a lesser extent, Americans, though Japanese representation on the Settlement's Municipal Council increased steadily in the 1920s - 1930s. Informally, the growing Japanese neighborhood in Hongkou (虹口 , often as Hongkew) was considered distinct, and British and American sections were sometimes demarcated.

One of the main purposes of this map is to show areas with Japanese garrison forces (日本警備区域), along with military forces of other (non-Chinese) nations and the Shanghai Volunteer Corps (義勇軍), a multinational militia. The red circled characters refer to the garrisons of Japan (日), France (佛), Britain (英), the U.S. (米), and combined British and Volunteer forces at the center of the International Settlement (here as 英及義). To the south of the French Concession was the Chinese-administered 'old walled city' (城内), while the areas surrounding the concessions were all Chinese-administered, though in practice the police and jurisdiction of the foreign concessions tended to bleed out beyond their formal borders, explaining the presence of characters representing Britain and France outside their concessions (these jurisdictional grey zones were frequently the site of gangland murders).

A Japanese imperial flag at top-center signifies the headquarters of the Japanese garrison (陸戦隊本部) while a Japanese national flag near center denotes the Japanese consulate. Japanese owned businesses in Pudong (浦東), across the river from the concessions, are underlined in red, as are Japanese-affiliated institutions (schools, parks, sports fields) just beyond the edge of the International Settlement.

Thich black lines trace the routes of streetcars while red dashed lines show the routes of trolleybuses and white-and-black dashed lines indicate the all-important intercity rail lines. Aside from street names, important institutions are labelled throughout the city, including social organizations such as the Sino-Japanese Society (中日聯誼會 ironically located in the French Concession) and Chinese native place associations (會館). Numerous canals also crisscross the city. Large red text notes two 'belts' of textile factories along the edge of the International Settlement.
The Shanghai Incident of 1932
The conflict of January 28th, 1932, also known as the Shanghai Incident, was a precursor to the Second Sino-Japanese War, which would begin in 1937. Tensions were already very high due to Japan's invasion and occupation of Manchuria starting on September 18, 1931. Following several attacks on Japanese nationals, both sides massed troops in their respective sections of the city and one-off confrontations increased to the point of skirmishes and pitched battles by the end of January. Although the Chinese troops were considered an inferior force, they put up a surprisingly tough fight. Nevertheless, the better armed and trained Japanese force, with the advantage of air, naval, and artillery superiority, made gradual gains and threatened to encircle Chinese forces, who consequently were forced to retreat in early March.

Neither side was prepared to pursue a full-scale conflict and a ceasefire was agreed, nominally turning Shanghai into a demilitarized zone, though Japan could continue to garrison troops to protect its nationals (an important factor in the start of the war five years later). The mini-war caused significant damage to Zhabei and other neighborhoods, setting off a refugee crisis as civilians fled to the foreign concessions.

The fighting in 1932 was a prelude to the longer and more destructive Battle of Shanghai five years later, the first major operation of the Second Sino-Japanese War. It also contributed to a deterioration of civilian government in Japan; two months after the battle's conclusion, ultranationalists dissatisfied with the result assassinated Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi and were only lightly punished due to pressure from ultranationalists.

Violence continued in Shanghai throughout the 1930s, including an incident less than two months after the end of the battle where a Korean independence activist threw a bomb at a group of Japanese dignitaries gathered at Hongkou Park (公園 at top-center) to celebrate Emperor Hirohito's birthday. General Shirakawa Yoshinori, the Japanese commander in the recently-concluded battle, was among those killed, while Japanese Consul-General Nomura Kichisaburō (later Ambassador to the U.S. at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack) and several Japanese military commanders were seriously injured.
Shanghai Sojourners
Shanghai's elite was a cosmopolitan mix of Europeans, Americans, Japanese, Chinese, and others. Trading diasporas from across China and the globe set up shop there, including Baghdadi Jews, whose names (Kadoorie, Sassoon) were synonymous with Shanghai's high society. Since the exact sovereign status of the treaty ports was unclear, Shanghai became a refuge for stateless individuals and refugees, including White Russians and, later, Viennese Jews fleeing the Nazis.

Multiple nationalities also formed a subaltern stratum of police officers, servants, small business owners, and entertainers, including Parsis and Sikhs, Annamese, Koreans, Russians, Portuguese (Macanese), and Filipinos. However, the vast majority of those in the middle and poorer classes of Shanghai were Chinese.

In the early 20th century, Japanese influence increased considerably. Japanese residents surpassed the British as the largest foreign contingent in Shanghai during the First World War, and by the time this map was made they composed some 80% of foreign residents. During World War II, when the city was under Japanese occupation, the number of Japanese residents (including Koreans, Taiwanese, and Okinawans) increased to over 100,000.
Publication History and Census
This map was produced in 1932 by the publishing arm (本部) of the Teikoku Zaigō Gunjinkai (帝國在鄉軍人), a Japanese pro-imperial nationalist organization. It is labelled as the '10th Edition' (第十版), suggesting that new editions were printed frequently, probably weekly, to keep up with changing events during the 1932 conflict (the 15th edition is held by Cornell University, OCLC 54785968). This map is not known to exist in any institutional holdings and has no known history on the market.


Teikoku Zaigō Gunjinkai (帝國在鄉軍人會; 1910 – 1945) was a Japanese nationalist paramilitary organization dedicated to 'spiritual mobilization' towards Japan's imperial ambitions. It was originally conceived by Tanaka Giichi (田中義一) as a veterans' organization. The organization put out various publications cheering Japanese expansion in China, including maps of Manchuria, Mongolia, and China proper. More by this mapmaker...


Good. Wear along fold lines, especially at bottom-left, where there is some loss at fold intersections. Discoloration at top-right margin and at bottom-left. Faint dampstain at top-center around fold line.